Eagleswood Academy photograph album, 1863-ca. 1890
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Weld family
- The Eagleswood Academy album is a 50 page cartes de visite album given to Theodore Weld by his former students at Eagleswood Academy in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on November 23, 1863. The 24 x 31 cm album has a brown leather cover, entitled "Theodore D. Weld" in gilt inlay. The album contains 194 photographs the majority of which are cartes de visite with some tintypes and gem tintypes interspersed. All of the photographs in the album are studio portraits. Most are presumably former students of Eagleswood Academy. Many of the individuals in the album are unidentified. Four loose items are also present in the album: an 1895 lithograph portrait of John Adams; a calling card for Mrs. Silas F. Overton; a calling card for a Miss Moseley; and a list of names, presumably of people within the album, that seems to have been created at a later date, presumably by Weld's daughter Sarah Grimké Weld Hamilton.
- 1 volume
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Louis Miller, March 2017
- Scope and Content:
The Eagleswood Academy photograph album consists of a single bound volume of carte de visite photographs tucked into the pages along with some gem tintypes, one of which is encased. The album contains slots for four different photographs on each page. There are 169 cartes de visite in the album, all of them studio portraits of either individuals or small groups. There are also a few instances where gem tintypes are placed within the same slot as a carte de visite.
The album appears to have been gifted to Theodore Weld in 1863 from his former students. While many of the photographs were likely present in the album at that time, it appears that other photographs were added through the 1870s and possibly later. The photographs are mostly of Weld's former students, though some are individuals who appear to have no explicit connection with the school.
Enclosed in the album is a folded sheet of paper containing a list of names. Individuals on this list partially correspond to the physical order within the album. The list appears to have been created during the late 1860's and amended up until approximately 1877. Asterisks seem to indicate that the person had passed away, though in some cases the individuals without asterisks on the list had been dead for years prior. It appears that no new entries were added after 1877. The authorship of the list is uncertain, but appears to have been Sarah Grimké Weld Hamilton.
In 1886 Theodore Weld began reaching out to former students for additional photographs to put together in an album. Some of the photographs in this album may come from this period. A January 1, 1899 letter from Sarah Hamilton to her daughter mentions that she received her father's old school album with many pictures of her old classmates and their spouses and children. From this statement it appears that not all the people in the album necessarily went to or taught at Eagleswood.
Three other loose items are also present in the album: an 1895 lithograph portrait of John Adams, a calling card for Mrs. Silas F. Overton, and a calling card for a Miss Moseley.
Some of the photographs within the album have names written on the back, while others offer no clues as to who the person is. Through other sources some of the unnamed individuals in the album have been tentatively identified.
One interesting item of note is the photograph in slot #196 of the album, which has portraits taken many years apart of the same (unidentified) individual on both the front and back of the paper mount.Other items of note include:
- A portrait of Charles Burleigh Purvis, African-American doctor and cofounder of Howard Medical School. (slot #53)
- A portrait of Bayard Wilkeson in Civil War uniform. Wilkeson died aged 19 at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. (slot #85)
- A portrait of Ellen Wright Garrison, daughter of Martha Coffin Wright and niece of Lucretia Coffin Mott, the famed women's-rights activists who organized the 1848 Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY. (slot #32)
The Eagleswood album contains penciled inscriptions beneath the various photographs, often times recording the name of the photographer as well as any other information written on the back of the paper mount of the photograph. Researchers should be aware that this information was added by a former member of staff and numerous errors are present. For conservation reasons these inscriptions have not been erased.Researchers should refer to the following indices for more accurate information on identified individuals, photographers, and inscriptions within the Eagleswood album:
- Biographical / Historical:
From 1854 to 1861 Theodore Weld lived in the Raritan Bay Union utopian community in Eagleswood, New Jersey with his wife Angelina Grimké, their three children, and Weld's sister-in-law Sarah Grimké. Raritan Bay Union was founded by Rebecca and Marcus Spring, prominent abolitionists and close associates of the Weld-Grimkés. The utopian community contained a school at which Sarah, Angelina and Theodore all taught. The initial school (called the Raritan Bay Union school in some sources) was referred to as Eagleswood school by the Weld-Grimkés in their correspondence. Eagleswood/Raritan Bay was a progressive co-educational school, in which girls were encouraged to speak out on diverse subjects as well as participate in athletics. The Raritan Bay/Eagleswood school collapsed in 1861 for reasons not exactly clear, though it appears that the illness of Theodore Weld Jr. played a role in the decision to close the school. In its place Marcus Spring founded the Eagleswood Military Academy in 1861. The Weld-Grimké family left Eagleswood by early 1864 and moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts.
- Acquisition Information:
- 2007. F-867.3 .
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has produced the following inventories:
- Photographer Index, containing the names of all the photographers in the album as well as any inscriptions handwritten on the photographs.
- Individuals Index, containing the names of all the identified, and tentatively identified individuals who have portraits present in the album.
The Clements Library also has a seperate finding aid for the Weld-Grimké Family Photograph album, ca. 1860-1880.
The New Jersey Historical Society has the Raritan Bay and Eagleswood Military Academy Collection, 1809-1973.
Burstyn, Joan N. Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1990.
Greene, Maude Honeyman. "Raritan Bay Union, Eagleswood, New Jersey." Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society 68, no. 1 (January 1950): 1-20.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Card photograph albums.
Cartes de visite.
Eagleswood Academy (Perth Amboy, N.J.)
Eagleswood Military Academy (N.J.)
Raritan Bay Union (Eagleswood, N.J.)
Grimké, Angelina Emily, 1805-1879.
Grimké, Sarah Moore, 1792-1873.
Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Bellows, Anna Langdon, 1845-1906.
Bellows, Russell Nevins, 1842-1914.
Birney, Fitzhugh, 1842-1866.
Birney, James G., 1844-1870.
Birney, Laura Stratton, -1868.
Chandler, Charles Lyon, 1839-1864.
Cutler, Elbridge Jefferson, 1831-1870.
Davis, Bertia Carpenter, 1831-1907.
Deuel, Mary E., 1842-1884.
Garrison, Ellen Wright, 1840-1931.
Garrison, Lucy McKim, 1842-1877.
Hallowell, Anna Davis, 1838-.
Hamilton, Sarah Grimké Weld, 1844-1899.
Hardy, Miranda A., 1838-1919.
Haskell, Llewellyn Frost, 1842-1929.
Hill, Lucy Elizabeth Shepard, 1837-1869.
Ireland, Catherine Innes, 1838-1925.
Leighton, Caroline C.
Merritt, Anna Lea, 1844-1930.
Moore, Hiland Augustus, 1843-1918.
Moore, Mary Elizabeth, 1842-1915.
Painter, Francis J. (Francis James), 1841-1910.
Painter, Joseph Elwood, 1842-1878.
Pope, Charlotte Cushing, 1838-1872.
Purvis, C. B. (Charles Burleigh), 1841-1929.
Purvis, Harriet J., 1839-1905.
Searle, G. M. (George Mary), 1839-1918.
Smith, Greene, 1842-1886.
Wilkeson, Bayard, 1844-1863.
Wilkeson, Frank, 1848-.
Wright, William Pelham, 1842-1902.
Yale, Catharine Brooks, 1818-1900.
Youmans, Edward Livingston, 1821-1887.
Youmans, Eliza A. (Eliza Ann), 1826-.
Youmans, William Jay, 1838-1901.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Eagleswood Academy Photograph Album, Weld-Grimké Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan